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Etna volcano update: Etna erupts lava fountains over 1000 m high

Tue, 23 Feb 2021, 07:41
07:41 AM | BY: T
Tall lava fountains more than 1000 m high and spectacular eruption column from last night's paroxysm on Etna (image: Giorgio Costa / facebook)
Tall lava fountains more than 1000 m high and spectacular eruption column from last night's paroxysm on Etna (image: Giorgio Costa / facebook)
Lava fountain during the eruption (image: Massimo Lo Giudice / facebook)
Lava fountain during the eruption (image: Massimo Lo Giudice / facebook)
The eruption seen from Linguaglosso on the NE (image: Massimo Lo Giudice / facebook)
The eruption seen from Linguaglosso on the NE (image: Massimo Lo Giudice / facebook)
Thermal image from Nicolosi showing the impressive height of the fountains (image: INGV Catania)
Thermal image from Nicolosi showing the impressive height of the fountains (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Once more, Etna produced a very impressive show of unsurpassed fireworks at night: The - awaited - 5th lava fountaining episode (known as paroxysm) occurred late at night and turned out to be particular violent, equal or even stronger than the previous one 48 hours earlier. It was the 5th in a row during a single week's time!

The events building up to the eruption were quite typical and similar to the previous paroxysms: at first, the until-then intermittent and mild strombolian activity from the New SE crater gradually picked up, starting from around 10 pm local time. At the same time, volcanic tremor started to show a steep increase, sign of magma moving upwards inside the volcano's conduits.
The activity began to turn into sustained lava fountains from around midnight, and continued to increase in intensity. Around 00:30, the activity reached its peak phase with very tall lava fountains surpassing 1000 m height! An impressive eruption column of ash and steam rose to probably more than 10 km altitude and spread into an impressive, near-circular umbrella cloud towering over eastern Sicily.
At around 1:05 am, activity quickly ceased, with a phase of reactivation during approx. 4.40 and 6 am, when a series of strong explosions occurred at the SE crater complex.
Similarly to the previous events, lava flows were erupted to the SW and the east of the New SE crater into Valle del Bove, reaching similar lengths as before.
Image sources:
- Giorgio Costa (facebook)
- Massimo Lo Giudice (facebook)

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